A new survey of Londoners has revealed an appetite for more tech interventions in the office, which would allow workers to personalise their working environment.
Leading property company British Land has polled 1,093 London workers, with 79% stating they would like to work in a ‘smart’ office.
A smart office utilises intuitive technologies to adapt the environment to the needs of its users; enables workers to interact with and better control their working environment; automates tasks such as room booking and guest check-in via online platforms and apps; and operates more efficiently.
Of those surveyed, 88% stated they wanted to control their working environment better and 88% said that office buildings should be able to adapt to the behaviour of humans. Three quarters stated that smart office technology should be adopted as a means of battling climate change.
When asked which smart technologies they didn’t have in their office which would be appealing, a significant proportion highlighted practical features such as apps to enable room and desk booking [cited by 40%] and ’boarding pass’ style visitor check in for instant access [38%]. The results show strong appetite for more radical tech interventions to create a more intuitive workspace, such as circadian lighting systems that mimic natural light [51% stated they did not have this but it would be appealing], voice activated room service [39%], and ability to create personal heat settings which follow you around the building [53%].
Over 40% stated that meeting rooms where screens work seamlessly with personal devices would be appealing, showing an expectation that the ‘internet of things’ should extend to the office.
London workers expressed a desire to work in a smart office within the next two years, but feel it will be four years, on average, before the identified technologies are utilised. Similarly, while three quarters of respondents stated they wanted their company to stay at the forefront of smart office technology, only 35% of non-decision maker employees think smart office tech is being prioritised by their employer.
London office workers associate smart offices with enhanced happiness and wellbeing. On average, respondents said their general happiness would be boosted 44% if the smart features were adopted, and estimated overall health would improve, on average, by 41%. Millennials saw an even more pronounced effect, estimating a 52% and 51% uplift in their happiness and health respectively.
Andrew Scorgie, Senior Director, Strategic Communications